Who'd have thought that venerable Porsche would need to design a car specifically to compete with one from an American upstart? But that's exactly what's happened, as Tesla's Model S became the bestselling luxury car in Europe last year, slipping past the Mercedes S class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Porsche Panamera, according to Forbes.
Tesla sold 16,231 vehicles in 2015, according to Car Sales Base; dipped slightly in 2016 to 15,451; and by July of this year had already sold 13,058, making it likely they'll hit or exceed their 2015 numbers by year's end. In other words, there are thousands of European customers happy to shell out for a sporty electric luxury car, particularly in countries like Norway and the Netherlands, where government incentives for EVs are appreciable.
Porsche thus set out to design a competitive car from scratch, the Mission E. Unlike the last Porsche we looked at, this one isn't in the six-figure range, but is meant to siphon potential Tesla customers with its $85,000 price tag.
Laypeople, Watch This Video:
Here's a basic rundown of the car (without much in the way of design details).
Auto Design Geeks, Watch This Video:
This is a more in-depth video produced by Porsche, which goes inside their design studios to show you the thinking behind the Model E. They go over the design elements they worked to integrate, to ensure the car looks and performs like a Porsche while integrating new technology.
After watching that last video, I think the designers really hit a perfect balance of drawing on their design history while still creating something fresh. While both Porsche and Tesla have access to world-class engineers, Porsche has a long and storied design history that upstart Tesla does not, and it seems to me that this should give them the edge.
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The Mission E will reportedly be ready by 2019.